Posts Tagged ‘combating negative Yelp reviews’

Help for Yelp

June 19, 2013

MatthewToday’s guest post is by Matthew Mikulsky.  He can be reached at or on Facebook using this link.  Thanks Matt for your great advice on a very important topic for ALL business people!

YelpLogo1On online review forums like Yelp, one bad review can taint overwhelmingly positive customer feedback. So it’s important to learn what, if anything, can be done to manage your online reviews and build goodwill among current and prospective clients. Here are some tips:

Open an account.
Before you begin responding to customers, you must first open a Yelp account of your own. Yelp requires business account users to upload a photo before messaging customers to make the experience more personal. Fill in as much as you can about your business but take care to not use the forum as a way to promote special offers or improve your search engine ranking with key words. If Yelp comes across either of these no-nos, they will remove your listing.

A great way to showcase your company is to upload a short video about your business. Yelp frowns on any negative imagery, so keep it short, clever and family-friendly. Also-don’t use it to advertise an incentive or to solicit reviews.

Reply all.
It’s important for businesses to respond to each and every post-good and bad. No response means that no one is listening and that’s not the impression you want to give.

Inhale. Exhale. (Repeat as needed.) Reply.
Responding to a negative review can be tough. Take a deep breath and let the user know that you thank him or her for the feedback and will look into the matter. Asking for another chance never hurts. Responding publicly allows other users to see you care. If you believe the feedback is false, you can always contact the user in a private message first. But always remember to stay positive.

Reward good, not bad, behavior (or reviews).
Avoid rewarding those who write a bad review with a free giveaway; it may encourage others to give similar feedback in order to receive free mea-culpa offerings on their next visits. Rewarding great posts with a simple “thank you” is a better strategy. You want those loyal customers to keep coming back-and hopefully bring friends.

If it’s not legit, flag it.
Yelp will allow businesses to flag negative reviews if they don’t appear to be legitimate or if they don’t follow general rules of conduct-swearing and slander can both get a review removed, for example. Stating why you believe the review should be removed is very important. However, don’t flag every bad review. That will get your business flagged. Make sure you approach every situation with honesty.

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